Nemaha NRD to survey buried aquifers this week

Nebraska City News-Press

Beginning later this week, Nemaha NRD residents may be seeing things in the sky. It’s okay – they’re supposed to be there! Instruments mounted below a low-flying helicopter will collect and record geologic measurements to learn more about buried aquifer materials. The flights will improve our understanding of the available ground water resource and potential ground water/surface water connections in an area of the state made more complex by the presence of glacial deposits.

The helicopter will fly a grid-like pattern over parts of Otoe, Johnson, Pawnee, Lancaster, and Gage Counties. This flight is a continuation of flights and studies already conducted in other parts of the NRD.

Scientific equipment is towed about 100 feet below the helicopter in a ’spider web’ array and is designed to map geologic structures beneath the earth. The helicopter will be manned by experienced pilots who are specially trained for low-level flying with this equipment.

This scientific program is designed to study the area’s water resources such as sand and gravel aquifers using an airborne perspective. It is part of a program to identify physical occurrences such as changes in geologic materials and sediment types in the subsurface across the region. Sixty percent of the funding for the project was obtained through a grant from the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Water Sustainability Fund.

Click here for a map of the flight area.